QOTD: Nicholas Perrin on “Exile” (@BakerAcademic)


However, precisely because exile was put to such widespread and wide-ranging use in Second Temple Jewish texts, we have some reason to expect something similar in  the texts of the NT. Each NT book should be understood on its won terms and with its own unique theology of exile. At the same time, since the authors of the NT held certain core convictions in common, there is reasonable warrant for teasing out family resemblances between these exilic theologies. One such family resemblance, difficult to dispute, is the sense in some NT texts that return from exile has already occurred in Christ even as, paradoxically, a condition of exile still endures. Much like the kingdom of God (at least as it is now commonly though not universally understood), exile retains an already-but-not-yet aspect. This makes sense inasmuch as return from exile is a highly allusive and rich way of describing the coming of the kingdom; it provides not only an eschatological framework but also conceptual handles for coming to terms with the “present evil age” (Gal 1:4), the existence from which believers have been redeemed.
Nicholas Perrin, “Exile.” The World of the New Testament: Cultural, Social, and Historical Contexts: 35.


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